Identification and Exit Procedures for English Learner FAQ s

General


General

    1. What are the enrollment and instructional obligations to serve English learners who enroll in Career Technical Education (CTE) programs including Joint Vocational Schools? Do they follow the same obligations as other schools?

    Yes, the enrollment, cultural and language instructional needs of English learners should be addressed by career technical education programs as described in the U.S. Department of Education Dear Colleague Letter (2015). Career Technical Education programs should implement a collaborative and data-based approach when planning, implementing and reporting in grant applications such as the Carl D. Perkins V State Plan Grant for Advanced Approaches.

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    2. In cases where newly arrived students are English learners with disabilities, what are the guidelines for screening? For example, if a student has been identified as a potential English learner through the language usage survey, but is non-verbal or otherwise unable to complete all four domains of the English language proficiency screener, should the student be identified as an English learner?

    Students with disabilities who are identified as potential English learners during the screening process and who cannot complete all four parts of the English Language Proficiency Assessment may be considered English learners in all applicable aspects in the development of the Individualized Education Program. The student may then be administered the screener with domain exemptions indicated on the individualized education plan to receive the formal identification as an English Learner.

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    3. How can schools support newcomer English learners who enter high school?

    When new students enroll in high school from other countries, schools should consult resources that assist in interpreting transcripts and providing credits for courses. A useful tool to understand courses of study from international education systems is linked here. Ohio’s credit flexibility policy may be helpful during the transcript review to award credits according to students’ previous educational experiences and competencies. Upon registration, current information regarding the local school district’s policy for graduation and promotion of English learners should be communicated to the student and family in a language that is understandable, providing interpretation and translation supports as needed.

    High schools should make every effort to support newcomer students using individualized, competency-based approaches to support the development of English language and content area knowledge and skills. Credit flexibility options may be used to develop courses that allow English learners to gain credits towards graduation. For example, a student may be provided the opportunity to gain credits for demonstration of knowledge and skills in a language other than English. Another option is to design meaningful sheltered content courses for students with interrupted education designated as "Other (math, science, social studies)" in the Department’s certification and licensure guidance. Schools should include input from students and teachers of English to speakers of other languages to understand how credit flexibility may be part of planning the pathway to graduation.How can schools support newcomer English learners who enter high school?

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    4. What resources are available for newcomer and displaced students including refugees and Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE)?

    Newcomer students should be enrolled and provided supports. For more information, visit Enrolling and Supporting Displaced and Newcomer Students

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    5. May English learners attend high school until age 22?

    English learners have the right to attend their local high school and gain credits towards graduation through age 21. Schools and districts can support students on their path to graduation by providing information and resources to help map out their steps and post-secondary options. Students and families should be provided with information and resources to map out their steps toward graduation and post-secondary options. Access Ohio's Graduation Requirements for more information.

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    6. Can an English learner be retained in a grade?

    If an English Learner is retained solely on the basis of his/her lack of English proficiency, such retention would be discriminatory because in effect, the English learner would be retained for not having adequate prior exposure to English. To justify the retention of an English learner, the district would need to give evidence that 1) the student has been provided with an educationally sound English language support program, and 2) the student is being retained for reasons other than lack of English proficiency (for example, if the student did not meet grade-level standards due to poor attendance, lack of effort, or poor study habits).

    Here are some questions that need to be answered before deciding to retain an ELL student:

    • Does the district have a retention policy that takes into account different factors that may impact students’ academic progress?
    • Is the reason for retaining the student other than the student’s lack of English proficiency?
    • Has the student been given meaningful access to the district’s academic program through language support strategies based on sound theory and widely-accepted good practice?
    • Has the student been given academic performance-based assessments that are based on the student’s level of English proficiency, and that take into consideration the instructional strategies used to give the student meaningful access to the academic content?
    • Is the student making less progress than what would be expected of students with similar language background and academic experiences?

    If the answer to all the above questions is “yes,” then the district may consider retention as a possible option for helping the student achieve English proficiency and make academic progress. Of course, the district will need to make sure that in whichever grade the student is placed, an appropriate, comprehensive and evidence-based language development program is provided.

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    7. Do you have questions regarding serving English learners?

    Call the Ohio Department of Education's Office of Whole Child Supports at (614) 466-4109 or send an email to lau@education.ohio.gov.

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Last Modified: 1/26/2023 12:57:29 PM